Splish! Splash!


The beating heat of the summer sun in Georgia has many yearning for that beach- like weather that can only be found on the coast of our southern state.  But that luxury only comes when you are willing to make that 4-hour drive.  Maybe not anymore.  Atlanta has made up for its lack of easy access to the coast with ways to get that cooling splash of water as you bear the summer heat.


Running, jogging all seem worthwhile when its not 80 degrees by 7 a.m. But as the mercury topples over before noon, the benefits of hitting the pavement come through by hitting the water.  When you were little, the pool meant summer, doggy paddles, and floaties.  But as we have gotten older and the floaties get a little too tight, the real power of the doggy paddle has not gone away.  Exercise by hitting the pool and the benefits are promising.  Increased cardiovascular health, endurance, and flexibility are just some of the perks.  Swim freestyle for one hour and you can burn up to 900 calories, according to Home Swimmer.  If all you are lacking is a pool, log on to Dynamo Masters (dynamomasters.com) to find a local pool, or hit your local YMCA.


If you enjoy more of the outdoors, enjoy a riveting experience with rowing, canoeing, and kayaking.  Even if you do not know how to row, the Atlanta Rowing Club (atlantarow.org) has classes that can build your rowing ability.  Take it to the next level with Lanier Canoe and Kayak Club (lckc.org) and become a part of a growing team.   Available on competitive and recreation levels, the benefits are likely the same.  Through kayaking, rowing, and canoeing, lower body and upper body muscles sculpt to a T giving you a cardiovascular benefits and burning up to 1600 calories, according to PERk, the Penn State Institute for Collective Advancement of Activity and Nutrition. 


For the daredevil in you, whitewater rafting brings up the extreme of water sports. The crashing waves and thrilling ride can keep anyone’s spirits and energies afloat. Link up with the Ocoee Adventure Center (ocoeeadventurecenter.com), and head down full-force on the Ocoee River for what is sure to be an adventure of the summer.  


Maybe water sports are not your thing, and neither is the glaring summer sun.  After all, summer does have relaxation written all over it.  With the hustle and bustle of the everyday, we tend to forget that Georgia offers us some delightful adventures just north of the hectic city life.  Drive up to the countryside of Toccoa, Ga., and wade down the Toccoa River with the fun and relaxation of tubing with The Rolling River Thunder Company (http://www.rollingthunderriverco.com/) all while enjoying the beauty of this quaint town.


So use this summer and step out of your running shoes and challenge yourself.  Take your fitness to the next level to improve your body, all while benefiting your mind too.